Civil society organisations have accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa of refusing to implement electoral reforms in order to gain an unfair advantage in this year’s hamornised elections.
The claims were made at a meeting hosted by the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) last week to discuss the delimitation process and the environment ahead of the polls.
Mnangagwa last week handed over Parliament’s report on the delimitation preliminary report by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), which has raised controversy because of alleged shoddy work.
“Zec remains captured and continues to work as an appendage of Zanu-PF and this points to discredited elections in 2023,” the groups said in a communiqué.
“In some areas of the country there has been a deliberate attempt to frustrate potential voters and a huge number of citizens remain disenfranchised.
“Electoral reforms remain a pipe dream in Zimbabwe with the country’s elections failing to meet guidelines of the African Charter on Elections, Democracy and Governance (ACDEG).
“The CSOs indaba noted that issues relating to the technical aspects and the general political environment point to yet another flawed election that will certainly fail the credibility test and thus result in yet another legitimacy crisis in Zimbabwe.
They added: “Zimbabwe is yet to implement recommendations from previous electoral observer missions including recommendations of the Motlanthe Commission of inquiry relating to the conduct of credible elections.”
The CSOs said Zec’s preliminary delimitation report pointed to a “flawed” process that may lead to unsatisfying election results. They also accused Zec of attempting to rig elections in favour of the ruling Zanu-PF party.
“Issues around access to the voters’ roll point to a deliberate attempt to rig the 2023 elections and expose the collusion between Zec and Zanu-PF. There is a deliberate attempt by the state to entrench authoritarianism and move towards a one-party state,” the organisations added.
“In light of the above-mentioned challenges, the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition shall continue with mobilisation efforts at the grassroots level to empower citizens to demand free, fair and credible polls. This includes ensuring citizens reject a flawed process with pre-determined outcomes.
“The Coalition shall intensify advocacy campaigns at regional and international levels and this also includes pushing for long-term observer missions ahead of the 2023 elections.”